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      Outcomes of participatory fisheries management: An example from co-management in Zambia's Mweru-Luapula fishery

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      Heliyon

      Elsevier

      Compliance, Common pool resources, Participation, Co-management

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          Abstract

          The study examined the outcomes of participatory fisheries management in Mweru- Luapula fishery in northern Zambia. The main objectives were to: evaluate the performance of Village Fisheries Management Committees (VFMCs), analyze participation of fishers in management activities and to assess fishers' compliance to fisheries regulations. Data were collected through structured interviews with 64 respondents, five focus group discussions and two key semi-structured interviews. Ostrom's eight design principles and White's typology of Interests was employed to analyze VFMCs performance and fisher participation respectively. Descriptive statistics and content analysis were employed to analyze the quantitative and qualitative data respectively. Results show that inadequate financial support to the Department of Fisheries has culminated in the capture of benefits by VFMC positions by local elites, and ultimately weakened enforcement of fisheries regulation. A nominal form of participation characterizes the co-management as resource users are not engaged in decision making and power still resides with the Department of Fisheries. Low compliance to the seasonal fish ban by fishers due to inconsistent patrols by VFMCs and Department of Fisheries has resulted in persistence of illegal fishing practices that threaten conservation of fish in the fishery. The minor positive outcomes of co-management suggest its ineffectiveness in curbing illegal fishing activities. A common property regime where smaller groups of fishers exploit a portion of the fishery with locally designed operational rules is therefore recommended to replace the ‘consultative’ type of co-management prevailing in Mweru- Luapula fishery.

          Abstract

          Compliance; Common pool resources; Participation; Co-management.

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          Most cited references 96

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          Enchantment and Disenchantment: The Role of Community in Natural Resource Conservation

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            Leadership, social capital and incentives promote successful fisheries.

            One billion people depend on seafood as their primary source of protein and 25% of the world's total animal protein comes from fisheries. Yet a third of fish stocks worldwide are overexploited or depleted. Using individual case studies, many have argued that community-based co-management should prevent the tragedy of the commons because cooperative management by fishers, managers and scientists often results in sustainable fisheries. However, general and multidisciplinary evaluations of co-management regimes and the conditions for social, economic and ecological success within such regimes are lacking. Here we examine 130 co-managed fisheries in a wide range of countries with different degrees of development, ecosystems, fishing sectors and type of resources. We identified strong leadership as the most important attribute contributing to success, followed by individual or community quotas, social cohesion and protected areas. Less important conditions included enforcement mechanisms, long-term management policies and life history of the resources. Fisheries were most successful when at least eight co-management attributes were present, showing a strong positive relationship between the number of these attributes and success, owing to redundancy in management regulations. Our results demonstrate the critical importance of prominent community leaders and robust social capital, combined with clear incentives through catch shares and conservation benefits derived from protected areas, for successfully managing aquatic resources and securing the livelihoods of communities depending on them. Our study offers hope that co-management, the only realistic solution for the majority of the world's fisheries, can solve many of the problems facing global fisheries.
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              A Ladder Of Citizen Participation

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                Heliyon
                Heliyon
                Heliyon
                Elsevier
                2405-8440
                19 February 2021
                February 2021
                19 February 2021
                : 7
                : 2
                Affiliations
                University of Zambia, School of Natural Sciences, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, P. O. Box 32379, Lusaka, Zambia
                Author notes
                []Corresponding author. ketiwekaluma@ 123456gmail.com
                Article
                S2405-8440(21)00188-2 e06083
                10.1016/j.heliyon.2021.e06083
                7898002
                © 2021 The Author(s)

                This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

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                Research Article

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